SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – Seattle Sounders FC are looking to earn their first MLS win of 2018 tomorrow.
Hosting Minnesota United FC at Century Link Field, the Sounders only scored their first MLS goal last weekend. In last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City, Will Bruin and Cristian Roldan put Seattle on the scoresheet for the first time in 2018.
Preview: Seattle Sounders still looking for first win vs. Minnesota
Seattle is currently sitting in last place in the Western Conference. However, Minnesota United FC isn’t far ahead of them, sitting in ninth place.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Minnesota United FC
2018 MLS Regular Season
April 22, 2018 – 1 p.m. ET
Stream: MLS Live
What to Watch For
There’s a chip on Clint Dempsey’s shoulder.
After missing Seattle’s match against the Montreal Impact due to suspension, the league tacked on another suspension. He missed last weekend’s match against Sporting Kansas City.
With no goals scored this season so far, Dempsey is looking to end that drought.
The veteran will team up with fellow forwards Will Bruin and Lamar Neagle to face a Minnesota United FC defense Marc Burch, Alexi Gomez, and Jerome Thiesson.
Dempsey has been a prolific scorer throughout his time with Seattle.
If the Sounders want to win tomorrow, they need Dempsey to slot one home. Dempsey has had success against Minnesota. In the two matches Seattle had last year against the new expansion side, Dempsey scored three times.
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) April 20, 2018
The Injury Report
Seattle Sounders FC
Victor Rodriguez is off the injury list.
After being on the list for three weeks, Rodriguez is back in the mix for Head Coach Brian Schmetzer.
Aside from Jordan Morris, only one other player is ruled as out: Kim Kee-Hee. The defender is currently rehabbing a right calf strain.
Listed as questionable are defender Waylon Francis with a right hamstring strain and midfielder Harry Shipp, who is dealing with a right ankle sprain.
Minnesota United FC
Minnesota United has two defenders and two midfielders listed as out.
On defense, Zakaria Diallo injured his Achilles tendon back on Feb. 27. He is currently on a recovery timetable of 5-6 months. Fellow defender Kyle Fisher is currently recovering from a tibia injury.
In the midfield, Marco Donadel is listed as out with a gluteal muscle injury and David Choiniere is also listed as out for 5-6 months with an ankle injury.
Another defender, Rod Fanni, is recovering from a thigh injury. On the official MLS injury report, there is no listing as questionable, probable or out.
As mentioned, Dempsey has some good luck against Minnesota United FC.
Last year was the team’s first year in MLS. In both matches against the Sounders, Minnesota United FC failed to pick up a win.
On Aug. 5, 2017, the Sounders handed Minnesota a 4-0 loss. Dempsey scored two goals, while Will Bruin and Jordan Morris each had a tally.
It wasn’t long after that they met again, on Aug. 20, 2017. This time, Minnesota got on the board with a goal from Ethan Finlay.
However, Dempsey and Chad Marshall scored to make the final 2-1.
This year, Minnesota isn’t the underdog in this match — it’s Seattle.
Last season versus Minnesota United:
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) April 21, 2018
Prediction: Seattle 2, Minnesota 1
This match won’t be a thriller, but it won’t be boring either.
Seattle needs to make up for lost time by getting on the score sheet. They also need to climb their way up the Western Conference standings.
Minnesota isn’t the same team they were last year. At this time, they still hadn’t won a match. However, this year, Minnesota has won two matches and lost four. They have no finished with a single draw.
There’s a good chance tomorrow’s match could end in a draw, but with the return of Dempsey, and how he’s known for scoring against Minnesota, it’s hard to bet against Seattle.
Also, having Victor Rodriguez back in Schmetzer’s plans is a major boost.